Oakland, CA – A mountain lion cub, presumed to have been orphaned and left without food for weeks, is safe and receiving care at the Oakland Zoo. The cub, dubbed Rose, was first spotted by hikers who noticed that she was alone and underweight.
According to a release from the zoo, Rose is believed to be four or five months of age, and she likely had not eaten “for weeks” at the time that she was captured. Dr. Alex Herman, VP of Veterinary Services at Oakland Zoo, said:
“Based on her initial exam, it appears she hasn’t eaten in weeks. She is excruciatingly thin. To survive, her body resorted to consuming its own muscle mass. She is also suffering from extreme dehydration, and her temperature was so low it couldn’t even be read. But she survived her first night, which was critical. We can already tell she has a feisty spirit and an obvious will to live, and we’re thankful for that.“
Hikers spotted the cub last Tuesday in the Thornewood Open Space Preserve in San Mateo but she wasn’t captured until Sunday afternoon. She is now receiving round-the-clock care and the zoo’s veterinary staff is “guardedly optimistic” about her recovery.
On Wednesday, the zoo updated the public with Rose’s current condition, writing:
Today, our vet team worked with our Animal Care staff to get a blood sample from our resident mountain lion Silverado. His blood was tested and found to be a good match for a transfusion for little Rose. 150ml of blood was drawn from Silverado and transported to Rose in the hospital, who is receiving this life-affirming transfusion as we speak!
Silverado is recovering well up at California Trail, and Rose is already looking better, but is still extremely underweight and fragile. We will keep you posted as we continue her round-the-clock care.
Follow Rose as she continues to recover at this link to the Oakland Zoo Facebook page.